Four More Weeks: It's Halftime in America

By Al Giordano

Understandably, there's a lot of Americans pinching themselves today, wondering if this is really happening: the right wing implodes (Ann Coulter was on Fox News this morning screeching, "now we see why the Democrats wanted McCain to win the Republican nomination") and will now go through a very loud four-week dysfunctional episode of internal finger-pointing in full public view. Democrats, meanwhile, are awestruck looking at a possible Electoral College landslide on November 4.

But a word to the wise is sufficient: Four weeks is a very long time in politics. Just think back to four weeks ago, right after the Republican National Convention, when McCain was up, the country seemed cowed by Palin, and Wall Street was humming along, business as usual.

It is in the commercial media's interests to turn this election into a real contest again, if it can (and it will try).

The only bulwark against that is field organization: to maximize early voting in the states that allow it, to register more voters where the deadline hasn't passed, to go door-to-door with persuasion canvassing, to sign up for the phone bank, and, for the Democrats, to spread the love down ticket and make those coattails longer.

Kos says it best:

Now's the time for us to press the advantage and crush their movement for a generation or more.

There are key states where the vote is so close that field organization will absolutely make the difference in the presidential contest:

North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio.

And there are firewalls to be reinforced in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and still to be built in New Hampshire, Virginia, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

And there is heavy offense to be played in potential map-changers like Georgia and even long shots like Mississippi and Arizona. There are people in those states working their tukuses off to surprise the rest of the country on Election Night. Yes, they can.

The Chicken Little wing flappings of a month ago came because some people took the polls much too seriously. The inverse of that will be some who sit on their hands now thinking they already have this one in the bag. It's the same mistake in both cases, that of believing the polls too much. No: that is not how history has ever been made or ever will be made.

In politics, as in sports, teams that are ahead on the scoreboard get giddy, they think they have it won, and they let down their guards only to see a precipitous change in fortunes as the other team rams through their sloth. During halftime in the locker room, the coach implores them: Yes, you're tired. Yes, you want it to be over today. Yes, if the vote were held today, the very trajectory of human history would change. But, reality check: it's not over for another 27 days.

It's halftime in America.

This is the part of the movie when the winning team needs to breathe in its second wind and keep pushing, inch by inch, vote by vote, kicking and scratching and clawing down the field for every last millimeter of ground. There will be setbacks and probably some injuries. There will be penalty flags and unlucky breaks.

This is the final half of the championship game. There won't be any second chances. The team that stays on its feet and keeps on moving, that is relentless and without mercy toward its rivals, is the one that will emerge triumphant in the end, which is now close enough to taste.


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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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